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Reading: Almost two dozen COVID-19 infections tied to Trump’s Minnesota rallies.

From Almost two dozen COVID-19 infections tied to Trump’s Minnesota rallies.

it’s the same mindset: it can’t happen here.

The numbers have stood out to public health officials because they seem to suggest that the impact of the rallies isn’t as high as many feared. After all, more than 20 cases have been tied to a wedding that took place a day after Trump’s Bemidji rally. “The wedding had a lot fewer people than the rally,” Beltrami County Public Health Director Cynthia Borgen said. “But there was an indoor reception. There was dancing and conversation. People were close to each other for a long time.”

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Reading: Amy Coney Barrett showed she’s ready to be part of Trump’s post-truth strategy (opinion) – CNN

From Amy Coney Barrett showed she’s ready to be part of Trump’s post-truth strategy (opinion) – CNN

And still, asserted Galileo, it moves. Senator K Harris visits with Barrett.

HARRIS: Do you accept that Covid-19 is infectious?
BARRETT: I think yes, I do accept that Covid-19 is infectious. That’s something of which I feel like, you know, we could say you take judicial notice of it’s an obvious fact. Yes.
HARRIS: Do you accept that smoking causes cancer?
BARRETT: I’m not sure exactly where you’re going with this. But you know …
HARRIS: It’s just a question, the question is what it is, you can answer it as you believe. [That’s ingenuous. It’s never “just a question.”]
BARRETT: Senator Harris. Yes, every package of cigarettes warns that smoking causes cancer.
HARRIS: And do you believe that climate change is happening and is threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink?
BARRETT: Senator. Again, I was wondering where you were going with that. You have asked me a series of questions like that are completely uncontroversial, like whether Covid-19 is infectious, whether smoking causes cancer, and then trying to analogize that to eliciting an opinion on me that is a very contentious matter of, opinion from me, that is on a very contentious matter of public debate. And I will not do that. I will not express a view on a matter of public policy, especially one that is politically controversial, because that’s inconsistent with the judicial role, as I have explained.
HARRIS: Thank you, Judge Barrett. And you’ve made your point clear that you believe that this is a debatable point.

Barrett takes it a position trap when it’s a question of the position of science.

Extra credit: Does life begin at conception? Birth? 12 weeks?

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Reading: Community outbreaks of Covid-19 often emerge after Trump’s campaign rallies – STAT

From Community outbreaks of Covid-19 often emerge after Trump’s campaign rallies – STAT

from Zach Nayer, in StatNews

What we found was sobering yet not surprising. Spikes in Covid-19 cases occurred in seven of the 14 cities and townships where these rallies were held: Tulsa; Phoenix; Old Forge, Penn.; Bemidji, Minn.; Mankato, Minn.; Oshkosh, Wis.; and Weston, Wis.

Chart in the article shows that Bemidji spiked twice, 6 days after the rally, and again at 9 days.

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Reading: Opinion | Donald Trump: The Worst President in Modern History? – The New York Times

From Opinion | Donald Trump: The Worst President in Modern History? – The New York Times

> It is the purpose of this special section of the Sunday Review to remind readers why Mr. Trump is unfit to lead the nation. It includes a series of essays focused on the Trump administration’s rampant corruption, celebrations of violence, gross negligence with the public’s health and incompetent statecraft. A selection of iconic images highlights the president’s record on issues like climate, immigration, women’s rights and race. And alongside our judgment of Mr. Trump, we are publishing, in their own words, the damning judgments of men and women who had served in his administration.

The urgency of these essays speaks for itself. The repudiation of Mr. Trump is the first step in repairing the damage he has done. But even as we write these words, Mr. Trump is salting the field — and even if he loses, reconstruction will require many years and tears.

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Reading: 9 COVID-19 cases linked to Minnesota Trump rally last month, with 2 hospitalized – ABC News

From 9 COVID-19 cases linked to Minnesota Trump rally last month, with 2 hospitalized – ABC News

Puts an edge on our local politics.

The Minnesota Department of Health has identified nine coronavirus cases in people who reported attending President Donald Trump’s rally in Bemidji, Minnesota, last month, with one patient currently in the intensive care unit.

While the health department cautioned it is uncertain whether those individuals contracted the virus at the rally or somewhere else, spokesperson Scott Smith told ABC News that “based on case characteristics” in Beltrami County, where Bemidji is located, the Trump rally on Sept. 18, along with a wedding that took place on Sept. 19, appears to be “likely drivers of increases in COVID-19 cases” in the county.

“We cannot definitively say for those cases who did not report either attending a political rally and/or attending a wedding where they were exposed to SARS-CoV-2,” Smith said. “However, these events appear, based on case characteristics, to be likely drivers of increases in COVID-19 cases in Beltrami County.”

[…]

Earlier this week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency listed Bemidji as one of the rapid risers in terms of the coronavirus spread.

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Reading: Demon vs. Monster: The Vice-Presidential Debate and an Historian’s Harassment

From Demon vs. Monster: The Vice-Presidential Debate and an Historian’s Harassment

from Hank Reichman on Academe Blog

The scare quotes are disdainful when they come from a university president.

But what is really shocking is how this alleged “educational leader,” a college president, could evidence such rank disdain for the academy’s and society’s most precious core values by placing the words academic freedom and free speech in scare quotes.

What signals danger, however, is that the president was so easily drawn by trolls.

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Reading: Kamala Harris grilling prompts doubtful claim from Amy Coney Barrett

From Kamala Harris grilling prompts doubtful claim from Amy Coney Barrett

> Harris also tackled Barrett’s views on abortion, making a carefully laid-out case that despite Barrett’s equivocation and insistence that she is unbiased on the issue of reproductive rights, she is far from it.

Barrett was a member of a “right to life” organization that in 2016 promoted a crisis pregnancy center in South Bend, Indiana, that has been criticized for misleading and misdirecting vulnerable women seeking abortions. She has signed off on a newspaper ad calling Roe v Wade – the landmark 1973 ruling protecting the right to choose – “barbaric”. A Notre Dame Magazine article from 2013 describes a lecture series during which Barrett “spoke … to her own conviction that life begins at conception”.

As a federal judge, she has considered three laws restricting abortion and expressed misgivings about rulings that had struck down the laws. She joined the dissent against a decision to strike down an Indiana abortion rule – signed into law by Mike Pence when the vice-president was Indiana’s governor – that mandated the fetal remains be buried or cremated.

“I would suggest that we not pretend that we don’t know how this nominee views a women’s right to choose or make her own decisions,” Harris said. The senator noted that Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom Barrett has cited as her model in declining to give any hints on how she would vote on future cases, was, unlike Barrett, much more forthcoming with her own personal views on abortion.

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Reading: New research explores authoritarian mind-set of Trump’s core supporters – The Washington Post

From New research explores authoritarian mind-set of Trump’s core supporters – The Washington Post

Needs a careful read: the correlation is clearly pervasive but it’s not total.

They found a striking linear relationship between support for Trump and an authoritarian mind-set: The stronger a person supported Trump, the higher he or she scored on the RWA scale. People saying they strongly disapproved of Trump, for instance, had an average RWA score of 54. Those indicating complete support of the president, on the other hand, had an average score of 119, more than twice as authoritarian as Trump opponents.

Many fervent Trump supporters, Altemeyer and Dean write, “are submissive, fearful, and longing for a mighty leader who will protect them from life’s threats. They divide the world into friend and foe, with the latter greatly outnumbering the former.”

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Reading: New research explores authoritarian mind-set of Trump’s core supporters – The Washington Post

From New research explores authoritarian mind-set of Trump’s core supporters – The Washington Post

Needs a careful read: the correlation is clearly pervasive but it’s not total.

They found a striking linear relationship between support for Trump and an authoritarian mind-set: The stronger a person supported Trump, the higher he or she scored on the RWA scale. People saying they strongly disapproved of Trump, for instance, had an average RWA score of 54. Those indicating complete support of the president, on the other hand, had an average score of 119, more than twice as authoritarian as Trump opponents.

Many fervent Trump supporters, Altemeyer and Dean write, “are submissive, fearful, and longing for a mighty leader who will protect them from life’s threats. They divide the world into friend and foe, with the latter greatly outnumbering the former.”

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Reading: “Perhaps you recognize me, it’s your favorite president.” Reborn.

From Trump Calls Getting Virus a “Blessing From God” – The New York Times Caligula speaks. We will all be as gods. On  Regeneron:

“To me it wasn’t therapeutic — it just made me better, OK? I call that a cure,” said Mr. Trump, whose skin appeared darkened by makeup and who appeared to struggle to get air at times. He then said everyone should have access to the not-yet-approved drug for “free” and that he would make sure it was in every hospital as soon as possible. He claimed to have personally chosen the drug as part of his treatment.

“I feel great — I feel, like, perfect,” Mr. Trump declared.

  Little Boots.